by Jeremiah Courter
"We can be redeemed only to the extent to which we see ourselves." -- Martin Buber
I was sitting in my therapist's office one day, talking through my sobriety from sexual addiction. Countless years of pornography had slowly weathered away at my soul, draining me of my passions in life, and ultimately poisoning my relationship with my wife. But in this particular session, I told my therapist of a dream I had the night before": I found myself in a brothel. I was being offered several women for myself to indulge in and use at my discretion. However, unlike all my past dreams where I immediately succumbed to such offers, a deep sadness swept over me instead. I thought of my wife. I was wanting to get out of the brothel and go home to her where I knew she was waiting for me. She was always there waiting for me, then I woke up.
I explained to my therapist how much I hated myself for all my years of unfaithfulness, while my wife was faithful to me. When I strayed away, she always remained true. Whenever I looked on the other side of the fence, my wife's gaze was only for me. I gave her scraps, while she gave me a feast. The weight of such a realization would have normally crushed me, given the frailty of my current condition. But, instead of taking on this unbearable yoke, I felt something else instead. I experienced an unimaginable weight of gratitude for my wife's faithful love, regardless of how undeserving I was to have received it. Out of that gratefulness, and in the midst of my wife's enduring love, my intimacy with her only grew. I was now experiencing sexual gratification only through her and with her. From this soil of mutual fidelity, a newfound tangibleness of our love became manifest. It was nothing short of beautiful.
After I shared this insight with my therapist, he responded with the following, "You are now able to invite more of yourself into those moments, Jeremiah." Fewer things have been told to me with as much impact as those words. I was able to give more of myself to the love of my life. I was finally experiencing the hope and joy that recovery offers the human soul and for those, we cherish most.